The Abe government has elected not to sign the BAN treaty that made the rounds of the U.N. General Assembly earlier last week. This was a decision glossed over by the current escalating North Korean Crises and issuing of snap elections on Monday. Tokyo has sighted two reasons for its refusal to join the treaty (which calls for all signatories to immediately end any research, development, testing, stockpiling, etc. of Nuclear Weapons). Their first is that “most U.S. allies” also made the decision to not participate and their second – the treaty was close to matching the road plan that Tokyo has for world-wide disarmament but not quite the same.

In reality, the refusal to sign the BAN treaty speaks to a growing trend of militant right-wing nationalism that the Abe government has been trying to foster for ages. Article 19 of the Japanese constitution forbids the building of any military capacity outside of a self-defense force, which the current Tokyo administration has fought against. With the current crises in their neighborhood, Abe hopes to use this period to push for a greater role for Japanese officers overseas. While the dove/pacifist wing of the government should not be counted out yet, it is likely to come under increasing fire in the coming weeks should there be no improvement in tensions. Signing the BAN would forbid Japan from building a bomb itself in the foreseeable future, should the Trump Administration and America’s promise of a nuclear umbrella be deemed useless.